Here’s a good example of where VR and AR are being touted as somehow “green”.
The article describes students being trained to maintain wind turbines via VR systems, rather than actual trips out to the wind turbines. Typically, the turbines are located offshore and require some effort to visit physically
On the surface, it looks great. Replace the messy boat trip with a VR system. But then I’m reminded that running a virtual world takes as much power as actually living in many countries, e.g. Brazil.
So, to really answer the question, we need a full LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) of all the energy inputs and outputs for a VR system. Is running a huge server farm, plus a high-end computer with watt-hungry video card, plus elaborate hardware really cheaper than a boat trip? And if it is, is it true that the VR training is good enough to justify not visiting a turbine “in the flesh”?
I’m less concerned with the answer than the typical attitude in the tech industry that there is no question – higher tech is automatically greener. This is a belief, not science.